Drug Rehab Options for Military Spouses and Dependents

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Are Veterans’ spouses and dependents eligible for VA benefits related to drug and alcohol rehab? What levels of care do these spouse and dependent benefits cover? Who’s eligible, and how do they apply for benefits? Explore the answers in this primer on VA benefits for Veterans’ spouses and dependents.
What you will learn:
Do VA benefits cover substance use disorder rehab?
What levels of care and treatment options are available?
Are Veteran-specific treatment tracks an option?

What are VA Benefits for Spouses and Dependents?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers benefits in the form of services, programs, insurance, assistance, etc. to eligible military Veterans and active service members as well as eligible spouses and dependents.1 In some cases, these benefits are also extended to spouses and dependents of Veterans with disabilities and those who died in the line of duty.2 While each benefit has its own eligibility requirements, spouses and dependents may qualify for some or all of the following benefits.

  • Healthcare. Spouses and dependents of Veterans and active-duty service members may qualify for TRICARE, the military’s comprehensive health insurance program. If you’re the spouse or dependent of a Veteran with disabilities or of a member of the military who died in the line of duty, you may be eligible for another form of health coverage called the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).3
  • Education and training. The VA offers a wide variety of education and training benefits for Veterans’ spouses and dependents. Surviving spouses and children of deceased, missing, or captured members of the military, as well as spouses and children of Veterans with a service-related disability, may be eligible for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance or a Fry Scholarship. Additionally, if you’re the child or spouse of a service member or Veteran, they may be able to transfer their education benefits to you.4
  • Employment. Employment-related services and benefits—such as career and education counseling—are also available for eligible spouses and dependents.5
  • Life insurance. Life insurance benefits may also be available. Special options exist for those whose respective service members are terminally ill or disabled, including options to have your premium waived or to access your benefits early.6

Do Benefits for Veterans’ Spouses and Dependents Cover Drug and Alcohol Rehab?veteran and family

Most insurance providers—including Medicaid, Medicare, CHAMPVA, and TRICARE—typically cover at least part of the cost of addiction treatment, including rehab for Veterans’ dependents and spouses. It’s important to note, however, that coverage varies by plan.

To determine exactly how much your plan covers, it’s best to reach out to a facility directly. For example, American Addiction Centers (AAC) offers multiple treatment centers nationwide, and its admissions navigators at can not only listen to your story and discuss treatment options, but also take a deeper dive into finances. They can verify your insurance (or you can verify your insurance online) and/or discuss financing and other payment options.

Types of Addiction Treatment Covered by VA Health Benefits

Depending on individual eligibility and the chosen health insurance plan, VA benefits for Veterans’ spouses and dependents can cover various levels of care for substance use disorder treatment.7

Here’s a broad overview of TRICARE and CHAMPVA rehab options for Veterans’ dependents and spouses. But remember, each plan can offer a slightly different level of coverage, and individuals must meet various eligibility requirements to be admitted to each plan.

  • TRICARE. This health insurance for active-duty service members and Veterans often extends to their spouses and dependents. TRICARE provides coverage options that include healthcare plans, dental plans, prescription medicines, and special needs care. Levels of care for substance use disorder treatment that may be covered by TRICARE include:7
  • The CHAMPVA program works to cover the cost of some healthcare services for spouses and dependents of disabled Veterans and of those who died in the line of duty. While it may require prior authorization, alcohol and substance use disorder rehab for Veterans’ spouses and dependents may be covered as outlined in the CHAMPVA guide to benefits.

What Should I Do if My VA Health Plan Does Not Cover Substance Use Disorder Treatment?

If your health insurance plan does not cover a specific level of care—or you’re deemed ineligible for a VA-related healthcare program—other payment options are available. A lack of insurance coverage need not be a barrier to treatment.

Other ways to pay for substance use disorder treatment include:

Again, the easiest way to assess your unique treatment costs is to reach out to a facility directly. AAC admissions navigators at can assist you in assessing payment options at AAC facilities.

Addiction Treatment Benefit Eligibility for Veterans’ Spouses

Every VA benefit program and health insurance plan, not to mention each person’s situation, is unique. So eligibility varies widely. Thus, it’s important to assess your own eligibility by speaking with the appropriate benefit administrator or reviewing each program’s online eligibility criteria. However, here are some broad guidelines regarding eligibility and links to learn more.

  • Family members of active-duty, retired, or deceased service members, National Guard soldiers, Reservists, or Medal of Honor recipients may qualify for substance use disorder treatment via the TRICARE program.9
  • Current or surviving spouses and children of Veterans with disabilities or service members who died in the line of duty may be eligible for CHAMPVA if they don’t qualify for TRICARE.10
  • Divorced (and not remarried) spouses of Veterans and active members of the military may qualify for continued health benefits through the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) if they lose TRICARE benefits.11

How Do I Apply for Veterans Benefits for Spouses and Dependents?

To determine your TRICARE eligibility and learn about available plans, go to the TRICARE website and click on “Find a TRICARE” plan. Then answer the provided questions to help determine your eligibility for military health insurance. If you qualify for TRICARE, the site will direct you to the next steps to complete enrollment.12

The VA offers online insights about how to apply for CHAMPVA. Ultimately, however, you’ll need to submit an application (VA form 10-10d) along with health insurance certification (VA form 10-7959c). You must also provide a copy of your Medicare card or documentation from the Social Security Administration that shows you’re not eligible to receive Medicare benefits.13

Resources For Veterans’ Spouses and Dependents

Along with the aforementioned healthcare benefits, spouses, dependents, and survivors of Veterans and/or active service members may qualify for a host of additional benefits offered through the VA. Options include:1

  • Coaching into Care. Those supporting Veterans that are readjusting to civilian life, dealing with mental health problems, and more can access psychologists or social workers via this program.
  • Fisher House. Known as a home away from home for families of Veterans and service members, Fisher House provides comfortable accommodations for families and caregivers of military members and Veterans who are receiving treatment at major VA and military medical facilities.
  • Military Spouse Transition Program. Designed to help spouses through every phase of military life, this program is a great fit for those getting started in the military, settling into a new base, or beginning the transition back to civilian life.
  • Counseling Services. Military dependents are eligible for several video counseling sessions. This service may help you or someone you love to determine whether to seek treatment for a substance use disorder.
  • The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. This program offers support and services for family caregivers of eligible Veterans who were seriously injured in the line of duty.

Various treatment centers such as AAC also offer insights regarding rehab resources for Veterans.

Veteran-Specific Treatment Tracks

If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, American Addiction Centers (AAC) can help. In fact, several AAC facilities offer a specialized treatment program geared toward Veterans and first responders.

AAC reps at are available 24/7 for a free and confidential conversation. You can tell your story, explore treatment options, learn about the admissions process, and review rehabs. AAC also offers the ability to text instead of talk, and reps can explore payment options and verify your insurance benefits (if any)—or you can do so online.

Reach out to take your first step toward recovery today.

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